Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Risk Taker

Posted by David Keelan on Thursday, May 11, 2006

O'Malley suing the PSC to stop the BGE rate hikes. Yet he has no plan of his own.

He must really trust Ehrlich, or really beleive in the Court System, or thinks he has a lot of friends to protect him.

If the Court sides with the City in the suit, why should anyone agree to anything else? "We had a plan and O'Malley killed it." People could drag their feet for the next 30 days and let the new rates go into effect with out any cushion. The whole time they could be blaming O'Malley's Folly – suing the PSC.

What if the Court or one of the parties in the suit drag this out in the courtroom until the new rates go into effect or the deferral program goes into effect. Either way O'Malley looses.

Perhaps he will call a special session of the General Assembly. I know, I know. The Mayor of Baltimore can't call a session of the General Assembly, but Martin O'Malley doesn't know that or doesn't care – he expects his party to bail him out on this one.

All very risky, in my opinion. But what does he care – he can afford the rate increases while nearly half of his constituents can't – so he makes a political football out of their money. Ass.

UPDATE: You won't find this in The Baltimore Sun, but Judge Matricciani was quoted in The Washington Times as saying in court:

In court, Judge Matricciani expressed skepticism that the court had jurisdiction to revisit the rate increase which was approved by the commission in March and may be no longer subject to appeal. He said that if he rules in the city's favor, an earlier phase-in plan that is slightly less beneficial for consumers would automatically take effect in July.

So, O'Malley is going to put rate payers at a further disadvantage.

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7 Responses to “Risk Taker”

  1. Anonymous said

    Risky, certainly, but given the utter ineptitude of the Public Service Commission, a Court’s involvement was inevitable. Had the PSC done a critical review of the rates, on a proper timeframe, using proper procedures, we wouldn’t be in this position.

  2. hocoblog said

    Wait a minute!!!!

    The PSC and the General Assembly had 7 years to conduct a critical review. SEVEN YEARS!!!!!

    If they had done it THEN, had they done it in 2005, “we wouldn’t be in this position”

    For Pete’s Sake!

  3. Anonymous said

    Very good point and very interesting that The Sun didn’t include this in their story. He’s continuing to work against consumers. First they had his 4% energy tax, then he picked a running mate who voted for deregulation, and then there was his brother-in-law, Max Curran, who sat on the PSC and voted for deregulation as well.

    Something stinks in the Baltimore Mayor’s office and I think it may just be the Mayor himself.

  4. Anonymous said

    Notwithstanding the all-caps “seven years” complaint, the reason the City is in court, and the reason it is winning, is that the PSC has botched this particular review. The PSC didn’t follow its own rules, it held secret meetings, and is making ridiculous arguments in Court and in the public square. Whatever the merits or motivation of the Mayor’s attack — it was the PSC that provided the opening.

  5. hocoblog said

    Anonymous I am not going to absolve the PSC or claim they did a perfect job. However, given the amount of time they had to review this proposal before July 1 they did their job. Could they have done a better job? Probably.

    Your view seems to be distorted a la “Secret Meetings”. Examples please – unless you only mean the one in Annapolis (during session)where all but one of the members were in town on business anyway. Remember, the PSC didn’t consider the current plan then because it didn’t exist and hadn’t been proposed.

    Just because the Judge stopped the advertising of the opt-in plan does not define winning. “In court, Judge Matricciani expressed skepticism that the court had jurisdiction to revisit the rate increase.”

    We could know what the court decides as early today.

  6. hocoblog said

    Meetings between PSC, Ehrlich aides violated law. Compliance panel rejects argument that no public business was conducted

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-psc0511,0,7816885.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

  7. Anonymous said

    The open meetings violation means the PSC decision(s) may be voided under the law. The procedural violations that the City is challenging leaves the PSC decisions vulnerable as well. It isn’t that the PSC “could have done a better job” it is that wha they did is illegal.

    With respect to the judge’s comments at the hearing, it is true that the “rate” issue was decided by the PSC in 2003. The “rate stabilization plan” is still well within the Court’s jurisdiction.

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